Here, find out how two franchisees found business success and fulfilment with Shuttercraft.
Simon Moody – Simon Moody – Reality show inspiration to business creation
Simon Moody was already at a crossroads in his life when his wife’s love of reality show ‘Made in Chelsea’ suddenly led to him finding the perfect business opportunity in the Shuttercraft franchise.
“She was obsessed with the home interiors featured on the show and really wanted to look into getting shutters,” said Simon. “I then found someone online, who happened to be the Shuttercraft franchisee in Bristol, and he told me how he’d never been happier. I instantly wanted to know more.”
Four years before this, Simon gave up his 20-year career in teaching, deterred by the stress and burnout his older colleagues were experiencing and wanting to take control of his own destiny. He took a year out to focus on writing, which included freelancing for the BBC, and then took a job with Sky providing broadband technical support while looking for the right opportunity.
Taking stock – literally
Having little to no experience of franchising, Simon carried out some research following his Discovery Call with Shuttercraft and concluded that they were a ‘safe’ option.
Simon commented: “Compared to a lot of other franchise opportunities out there, with Shuttercraft, there was no danger of wasting stock. You’d carry out a survey, take an order and deposit, order the products from S:CRAFT, fit them, get paid and then pay the invoice for the shutters. The more successful I was, the more successful they would be so it was a win-win and supportive set-up.”
No business acumen or DIY experience – no problem
A right-brain creative person, Simon was not particularly detail-driven and had limited experience with practical DIY. So why pursue a Shuttercraft franchise?
Simon said: “I just knew I wanted to get out of being employed and being tied to a desk, but I was terrified of working for myself, had no idea about setting up a business or how to fit shutters! But what appealed to me was the ability to take control of my own destiny and at my own pace in a growing market.”
“It’s given me exactly what I wanted.”
Now six years into his Shuttercraft journey, Simon is working with a part-time, self-employed fitter and completing around 120 installations a year across Somerset.
With the material and support provided by Head Office for marketing, he generates most of his customers through online PPC, a Check a Trade profile, local leaflet drops and magazine advertising.
Customers range from professional couples in towns and cities to retirees living in the countryside, with many of them having just part of their home done and then returning to have more Shuttercraft products fitted when they realise how great they are.
His business is turning over in excess of £200,000 and he’s living the life he wanted: “Building my Shuttercraft business was not solely about money for me, it was about lifestyle,” added Simon. “I have complete control over getting out what I put in.”
Mark Richardson – Why I joined the Shuttercraft franchise
For more than 30 years, Mark Richardson had enjoyed a career as a successful salesperson in the motor trade. His positive nature and soft sell approach saw him bounce back from three redundancies, but at the age of 62, Mark finally decided to do something for himself.
A few years ago, he attended a franchise exhibition where he first came across Shuttercraft. Having recently had shutters fitted in his own home and been very impressed, he was sold on the concept. The timing, however, just wasn’t right.
“When work is going well, you tend to put your dreams on hold and forget about them,” said Mark. “But then I realised it was now or never and so I went back to a franchise exhibition in October where I talked in length to the team at Shuttercraft. I’d considered another shutter franchise, but what attracted me the most to Shuttercraft was how this had the potential to quickly become a management franchise.”
Mark was determined to build his own business that didn’t rely on storing or wasting stock, that was cash positive and that he could take a back seat in further down the line while enjoying a healthy income, and then possibly sell for a lump sum. Shuttercraft ticked all of the boxes.
An investment requiring commitment
While Mark had been employed all his working life to this point, he worked in commission-based roles where the money you earned was reflective of the work you put in. He certainly wasn’t expecting to have success handed to him on a plate in return for paying the £25,000 franchise fee.
However, he still had to be sure that the infrastructure and support was there to help him be as successful as he could be. By speaking with the Shuttercraft team, both at the event and on his Discovery Call, as well as existing franchise partners, Mark understood that he would get all of the training and support he needed. He also felt the cost of the franchise fee reflected this and the quality of the organisation.
Mark said: “There were other franchises, including the other shutter franchise, with lower fees. But the set up and support being offered by Shuttercraft was excellent and demonstrated great value for money. The cost is not insignificant, but I felt comfortable that it would motivate me to succeed, provided I took advantage of all the help available. I see this as more of a partnership – the perfect balance between being employed and starting a business completely on your own.”
Being 62, Mark wants to grow his Shuttercraft business as quickly as possible. He aims to achieve £40,000-£50,000 profit in the first year within his East Midlands territory and hopes to take on a second territory soon after.
Building on a solid skillset foundation and personal experience
With solid sales experience already under his belt, Mark is confident that his honest and soft technique will be easily transferrable to shutter sales appointments. Having first-hand experience with his own shutters, which he admits are of lower quality than those supplied by Shuttercraft, he will also be able to explain the benefits of the products to potential customers with practical examples.
The practical fitting doesn’t phase Mark either as he is a self-taught DIYer and has renovated four properties in the past. With his partner being an accountant, he is also confident with the business reporting side of things too. Mark will need to develop new skills in marketing and advertising though, which he is both apprehensive and excited about.
“Technology is definitely my weakness,” said Mark. “Thankfully there are people on the Shuttercraft team that will help me with that, especially the digital advertising and website, the latter of which is included in the franchise fee. I know that I will also be able to call upon the support of my neighbouring franchise partners, who I have already met and are doing very well.”
He is looking forward to “Making the franchise dream a reality”